Turns out, people like butts.
Per data compiled by analytics site Streams Charts, the most viewed Twitch clip of the entire month of May was a single shot from the stream of adult film actress and Twitch broadcaster Mia Malkova. She stood up in a tub, facing away from the camera. It would be hard to describe ensuing chat comments as anything other than “leering,” but well, that was probably the point. The clip has nearly 500,000 views.
A certain segment of Twitch’s audience will probably view this as yet another sign of the platform’s descent into depravity — that clips were corrupted into spotlighting a woman’s body, which she found a way to make money off of her own accord, rather than a big gameplay moment or something. But the truth is that Twitch clips get used for inconsequential shit all the time. Most of the time, actually. The biggest clips often centre around gaffes and awkward moments, rather than anything having to do with video games; one of last week’s top clips, for example, is just a camera zooming weirdly far in on Félix “xQc” Lengyel’s face. One of my favourite clips ever depicts a guy casually sauntering up to his computer and then realising his cat started his stream. “Oh shit!” he yells when he realises what’s happened.
The overriding theme of the clip tool’s usage is that people would like to preserve something shocking or funny they weren’t expecting to see — or feel like they were not supposed to see. Usually, clips blow up because of subreddits like the drama and blooper-obsessed r/Livestreamfail, so numbers are often representative of smaller, self-selecting pockets of Twitch viewership rather than the platform as a whole.
Which brings us back to the butt. It is now objectively true that a butt has ruled over a section of Twitch, which is very funny, but it’s also just the flavour of the month version of a thing that happens all the time. That said, I am outraged that it managed to narrowly edge out another top clip in Twitch’s Just Chatting section last month: some weird, hyper-muscular Russian guys dancing in a hot tub to a clip of Shrek playing saxophone. Unbelievable that women are stealing views from Twitch’s large crop of extremely deserving, comically jacked Russian Shrek fans.